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Kuchela Dinam at Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple in Kerala – Kuchela Day

Kuchela Dinam, Kuchela day, is observed on the first Wednesday of Dhanu Masam (December – January) as per traditional Hindu calendar followed at Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple in Kerala. Kuchela Dinam 2023 date is December 20. The day commemorates the meeting of Kuchela, a friend and schoolmate, and Sri Krishna.

The day is also of great importance at the Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple.

Kuchela visits Krishna after several years when Sri Krishna is the ruler of Dwarka. Kuchela, also known as Sudama, was poor and he was visiting Krishna to ask some financial help to overcome his poverty. He carried with him handful of aval or poha (beaten rice). This beaten rice was of poor quality and it was filled with mud and stones. 

On reaching, the palace of Krishna at Dwarka, Kuchela was warmly welcomed by Sri Krishna. It is said ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ (Guest are equal to God) and Krishna treated Kuchela like a God.

Kuchela was ashamed to give the ‘aval’ to Krishna as it contained stones and mud and now it was also soaked in his sweat.

But the ever playful Krishna noticed the small bag in the hand of his schoolmate and soon grabbed it and ate a handful of ‘aval’. Kuchela could not believe his eyes, Krishna, the king, eating his poor quality aval.

The poor Brahmin was so overwhelmed by the love shown by Krishna that he forgot to ask for financial help and returned home empty handed.

On reaching his village Kuchela could not find his old hut. Instead his hut was replaced by a palace. His wife and children were wearing good clothes and everything that was old and worn out was replaced with new.

It didn’t take long for Kuchela to realize that all this was the ‘leela’ of the ever-smiling Sri Krishna.

This divine leela of Sri Krishna is celebrated on the Kuchela Dinam at Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple in Kerala. Aval is offered to Krishna on the day by devotees. It is believed that offering prayers on the day will help to attain bliss and material prosperity.

Please note that in other parts of the country, the popular belief is that the divine incident of Kuchela meeting Sri Krishna happened on the Akshaya Tritiya Day.